Climate change - the Facts and the Theology

If you have watched the news over the past few weeks, you will have heard about the group Extinction Rebellion and their protests, particularly in London, which have been designed to bring the issue of climate change to the forefront. And who could fail to be moved by the incredible Greta Thunburg, who, at the age of 16, has managed to bring the issue to many powerful leaders with a clarity that is inspirational.

Activism is at the heart of the Christian faith. We were never called to be quiet about injustice and the faith was never a private one – Christianity by its very nature is communal. The Holy Trinity is a divine community, living in harmony and equality. Liberation theologian Leonardo Boff used the Greek term ‘perichoresis’ when referring to the Trinity. This word refers to a perfect community where ‘incomparable hospitality’ is lived out.  Boff saw the Holy Trinity as the example by which we should all strive to live – in perfect community and demonstrating radical hospitality to each other.

Jesus demonstrated another aspect of the communal aspect of Christianity at the Last Supper, when he shared bread and wine

with his disciples and mandated them to love each other. Christianity is not an individualistic faith – at its root, it’s about living, sharing and worshipping in community. If we are to live out this calling to live in community, where all are equal and valued, then we are obliged to stand up when people are not being treated equally, when harmony is threatened.

Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time. It is beyond doubt now that climate change is, largely, a problem caused by the rich which impacts most strikingly on the poor. The places of greatest ‘development’ have contributed vastly more to climate change than those where development isn’t as rapid. Climate breakdown will affect us all, but it will, and already is, disproportionally affecting those with the least, those who have the least ability to defend themselves. This is not right. This is not fair. This is not a picture of a perfect community. This is why we need to make a stand as Christians.

If you need any more convincing, and you haven’t already watched it, I urge you to watch Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Climate Change – The Facts’, which is available on BBC iPlayer. It’s a very sobering and incredibly important documentary. And, do come to our EcoFest and look out for ways in which you can make a stand. On 26th June, I will be joining Christian Aid’s march in London, asking our leaders to act significantly and I am hoping that, in June or July, we may stage our own little, peaceful protest outside St James, on the side of Princess Road – one of the busiest and most polluted roads in our city. Watch this space and, as always, do share your thoughts and ideas with me.


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